‘Rules are rules’: Australia cancels Novak Djokovic’s visa

Authorities say tennis champ ‘failed to provide appropriate evidence to meet entry requirements’ amid COVID pandemic.

Australia has cancelled Novak Djokovic‘s visa, the country’s border company first introduced, saying the world’s number-one tennis participant “failed to provide appropriate evidence” to fulfill entry necessities.

Djokovic landed in Melbourne late on Wednesday and stated he had obtained a medical exemption to COVID-19 vaccination in an effort to play within the upcoming Australian Open match.

But in an announcement on Thursday, the Australian Border Force (ABF) stated “Mr Djokovic failed to provide appropriate evidence to meet the entry requirements to Australia, and his visa has been subsequently cancelled”.

The Reuters information company reported that Djokovic had filed an injunction to stay within the nation.

In a tweet, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed Djokovic’s visa had been cancelled.

“Rules are rules, especially when it comes to our borders. No one is above these rules. Our strong border policies have been critical to Australia having one of the lowest death rates in the world from COVID, we are continuing to be vigilant,” he stated.

Australia has imposed strict measures to fight COVID-19, together with requiring full vaccination for folks coming into the nation. The authorities permits vaccination exemptions for “medical causes“.

Many Australians had voiced anger that the unvaccinated participant had gotten a visa to play within the Grand Slam match, prompting Morrison to vow to deport Djokovic if he didn’t present enough proof to help the exemption.

“There should be no special rules for Novak Djokovic at all. None whatsoever,” the prime minister stated throughout a information convention on Wednesday.

In a dramatic collection of occasions by the Melbourne evening, Djokovic touched down at Tullamarine Airport at approximately 11:30pm native time on Wednesday after a 14-hour flight from Dubai, however was ushered into an isolation room below police guard when Australian officers stated that his visa didn’t permit for medical exemptions.

Djokovic’s arrival had sparked confusion, with the federal government for the state of Victoria, which incorporates Melbourne, saying it might not help his visa utility.

Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews clarified the method on Wednesday.

“While the Victorian government and Tennis Australia may permit a non-vaccinated player to compete in the Australian Open, it is the Commonwealth government that will enforce our requirements at the Australian border,” Andrews stated. “If an arriving individual is not vaccinated, they must provide acceptable proof that they cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons to be able to access the same travel arrangement as fully vaccinated travellers.”

The move by the Australian authorities threatens to trigger a diplomatic incident between Canberra and Belgrade.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic had voiced help for Djokovic.

“I told our Novak that the whole of Serbia is with him and that our bodies are doing everything to see that the harassment of the world’s best tennis player is brought to an end immediately,” Vucic stated in an announcement on Wednesday.

Vucic had summoned the Australian ambassador in Belgrade and demanded that they instantly launch Djokovic to play, Serbian media reported.


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